A few years ago, it became apparent I needed to write a Friends Reunited review. Why? Although the site isn’t meant to specifically connect singles, it offers an uncanny ability to help people reconnect after losing touch from their school days. I didn’t find it particularly suited, however, to love and romance; there is more a platonic friendships or “what if’s” feel than anything else. Still, it’s extremely popular (especially in the UK).
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Friends Reunited initially helped UK-based former classmates and friends of all ages reconnect after they’d lost touch in one of the first online social networks ever. In the past few years they’ve re-branded themselves as a ‘nostalgia’ site. Some readers have asked me to create a Friends Reunited review, so let’s jump into the details and see just how it all works.
Usually in this first section of a dating site review, I share a quote or outline of the company, so people unfamiliar with the site get the jist of what’s underneath the surface. In this case? Friends Reunited has a very long, fascinating past, although if you’re from or have lived in the UK for the past decade, you’re likely already familiar with much of the story. Here’s the quickest possible recap I can offer.
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Friends Reunited started in 2000, well before anything social networking was labelled as such. First in trickles, then in deluges, reconnecting with people, places or things they’d long since lost contact with was the focus.
By 2005 they had 12 million members, and the site was well known for having broken up many a marriage by rekindling high school sweetheart romances.
Once sites like Facebook cropped up, the need to find these folks diminished. Ever since then Friends Reunited have tried to re-brand themselves in attempts to woo back the member base of yesteryear.
Please note that this company still falls outside of the normal ‘dating site’ spectrum, and thus, has quite a few different features that you’ll only find at their site. This might be a good thing, or it could add to the clutter, as I found. Just trying to fill out my profile was a frustrating experience, and it took me a lot longer than 80% of the dating sites I’ve used and reviewed over the past decade.
Signing up is quick and easy, either through the main interface of the site, or by using your Facebook profile. Your local data (city and postal/zip code) will automatically populate the fill-in form. Four seconds later, you’ll get a pop-up telling you to check your email, as you’ll need to confirm your email address before accessing the site.
Once signed up, you’ll get regular emails from the site, telling you someone has checked out your profile. When I logged back in, I found the site had automatically determined my gender as male, so I had to go into My Account at the top right of the page and then scroll down to change it. (Still waiting approval on that one, by the way).
From the same My Account page, you’ll want to set up your profile so that people can find you. Friends, Email, Nothing Serious and Marriage are your only choices in the “looking for” section, which implies people can, and do use Friends Reunited as a dating site. Only “straight/heterosexual” and “gay/lesbian” options were offered in the sexuality field, however you can also choose “no preference/choose not to answer” for any question. There were a staggering number of options and questions to fill out, all of which are searchable. Also, watch out while you’re filling out the forms, as I found many of them to end with a, “click here!” link that automatically signed you up for another dating site.
When you visit My Account and scroll down, you’ll see a “Character” section. Click on it and you’ll find a list of character traits that you can slide over to choose anywhere along the continuum from “low” to “high”.
Right next to the “Character” section is a “Your dating appeal” section, which also intrigued me. When I clicked, a message popped up sharing I had yet to answer enough questions to help determine how appealing I am (really?). Could please answer two pages of questions such as, “Are you more flexible or punctual?” Interestingly, the answers I received were very different from how I see myself.
As I’m Canadian, I was presented only with the Canadian costs involved with being on Friends Reunited. I can only assume the prices are similar in US and UK dollars.
Friends Reunited accepts Visa, Mastercard, and Diners Club.
If you’re already on Friends Reunited, or want to find people you’ve lost touch with, it’s an excellent way to find those kinds of people. Would I use it exclusively as a dating site? No, only because there’s zero guarantee the other people are also looking to date. Still, I’ll keep my profile active, just in case that long lost love from summer camp is still searching for me.
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